Shaun JohnstonBritish, now living in Hudson Valley NYEmail address
Traffic, 2011Total pages viewed 450,000Total visits 150,000Visits sent to lodgings’ websites 50,000If 1 in 20 visits = $300 in room bookings, this was equivalent to $750,000.Search engine presenceWhen I set my locality in Google as “NYC” I get the following rankings:Search for “nyc getaways” and nycgetaways.com is number 1. Search for “getaways from nyc” and nycgetaways.com is number 5. Search for just “getaways” and nycgetaways.com is near the top of page 2. Search for “lodgings mid-hudson valley” and getawaythehudson.com is number 1.Search for “catskills resorts” and getawaythecatskills.com is number 5.Additional domain names owned: getawaygazette.com (for a newsletter), ingreenecounty.com, incolumbiacounty.com, insullivancounty.com, inorangecountyny.com, inulstercounty.com, indutchesscounty.com.
NYC FAMILY OF REGIONAL TRAVEL GUIDES: I opened a web design studio in an office in Kingston the very year the first Web browser appeared, 1994, and that year began publishing local travel guides, fanning out from Kingston, to Ulster County, then to the Catskills, finally by 1999 to the NYC Getaways family of guides (guides for the Berkshires and the Shawangunks started a little later).No other market appearing to support the guides they came to focus on featuring lodgings--lodgings were used to paying for promotion. The guides garnered very little revenue, but by keeping me in touch with the Web they’ve remained an absorbing hobby.Until May 2012 the guides host around 12,000 visitors a month, three-quarters from the boroughs of NYC (traffic has drifted lower since). They are the most NYC-centered online promotion for regional tourism.Home pages and a few others are designed in Xara Web Designer. Town pages are currently managed through a Dreamweaver-like program--Namo Webeditor. Lodgings listing are output each night through CRON from MySQL by php programming. Output from all three processes has been tailored to appear identical in design. An ad service is implemented (OpenX) with dummy ads provided, ready for ads to be sold. Backends for making changes to lodgings listings, for traffic analysis and for invoicing are managed through the database Panorama.NEW PROPOSAL. Governor Cuomo is planning in 2013 to institute support for new initiatives in marketing tourism in NYS. I could attach to, say, www.getawaythehudson.com a set of pages for county personnel to keep updated diaries of events in their county. See here for a dummy page of listings. Items are listed in date order, in two sections--major events, and the rest. Events past due drop off the list. Each county would have a backend through which to enter new items, and change existing items. See backend, click on button “All items needing OK.” Click on button “Edit” to see a page for entering or editing a single item. There would in addition be a page for all events shown consolidated in one listing. I would charge an upfront fee and a fee for monthly maintenance. Alternatively I could run this set of pages on a web site with the domain name “getawaygazette.com,” registered to me.SUMMARY OF RESOURCES AS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 NYC Getaways family of online travel guides have been published in the mid Hudson Valley for over a dozen years. The guides connect people in the NYC-Metro area with getaway facilities in the mid Hudson Valley and the Catskills. The guides provide visitors with maps and information about lodgings, towns, services and things to do. They provide this information primarily through complete one-line lists of lodgings, enhanced listings for clients, and ads. They also include some photos and editorial text.